Enterprise Social Media Use and Its Impacts on Employee Performance: A Systematic Literature Review

Luu, Ngoc Kim Nguyen
Techatassanasoontorn, Angsana
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Master of Business
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Auckland University of Technology

Enterprise social media (ESM) is an internal social media platform used within an organisation to support employees' communication and social interaction. While some organisations have invested in ESM despite the uncertainty of derived benefits on employee performance, other organisations are hesitant to deploy this platform. In addition, scholarly research on the relationship between ESM use and employee performance often shows inconsistent results. Therefore, to offer an understanding of ESM use and how it impacts employee performance that can inform the field of research and practice, this study systematically reviews existing studies on the relationship between ESM use and employee performance. The findings of this study are based on the analysis of 42 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers. The results are organised into a proposed framework that shows the relationships between direct and mediating relationships between ESM use and employee performance. In total, 21 antecedent variables (ESM use) are divided into three factors (behavioural factors, technology factors, and perception factors), nine outcome variables (employee performance) are categorised into two categories (performance outcomes and psychological outcomes), and 45 mediator variables are categorised into six factors (ESM as knowledge sources, psychological factors, ESM for knowledge exchange, task structures, social-related advantages, and stressors). Based on variables of behavioural factors from antecedent variables, there are eight main purposes of employees’ ESM use, including work-related use, social-related use, social-instrumental use, ESM use, ESM deep structure use, cognitive absorption use, information sharing, and information seeking. In addition, the antecedents of employee ESM use, directly or indirectly through mediators, inhibit or enhance employee performance.

Overall, behavioural factors have direct and indirect relationships with performance outcomes and psychological outcomes. Technology factors have indirect relationships with performance outcomes and psychological outcomes through mediators, whereas perception factors have indirect relationships with only performance outcomes through mediators.

More specifically, ESM use directly increases employee agility, employee creativity, job satisfaction, task performance, and employee belongingness, and decreases cyber-slacking and task performance. Previous studies also report the roles of mediators to explain how ESM use influences employee performance. In particular, ESM use indirectly enhances employee competence, employee creativity, task performance, and employee agility, employee work efficiency, and job satisfaction while indirectly reducing cyber-slacking, employee creativity, task performance, job satisfaction, and employee work efficiency.

This study has some theoretical contributions that further explain the mechanisms behind the relationships between ESM use and employee performance. The study proposes a framework showing the direct relationship between ESM use and its impact on employee performance, as well as the role of mediators. The findings assist scholars in gaining a thorough understanding of the current state of research on this topic. Furthermore, this review provides practical implications for ESM stakeholders, such as allowing managers to leverage the advantages of ESM use while avoiding its drawbacks, enabling employees to use ESM appropriately to increase their performance while avoiding misuse that harms their performance, and permitting ESM designers to strengthen specific ESM features to encourage beneficial ESM use while minimising potential harmful use.

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